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Thread: car audio optical amplifiers

  1. #1
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    car audio optical amplifiers

    i have been trying to figure out how to get a great sound and ease of use out of my future car pc setup.
    from what i understand there are few ways to do this.

    sound card>preamp>car amplifier
    usb DAC>preamp>amplifier
    usb soundcard>preamp>amplifier
    sound card with optical output>optical amplifier

    and then i need software to set the crossover and adjust eq from the PC

    for example alpine MRA-F350 5 channel digital amp with optical input.
    is that same type of optical input or is the standart for car audio optical different from normal PC optical.
    can i just hook up that amp to an audio card with optical out or a DAC?

    or does it only work with alpine units with optical out?
    since it has crosover and EQ buit in.



    from what i understand the less processing you have in line the better sound.
    so then the best sound quality would be an optical output going directly to the amplifier and then second shoice would be a USB DAC >preamp > car amplifier.




    the cheapest way to get great sound would be?

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    I am using a PC with onboard sound and optical SPDIF out (optical is nice for eliminating ground loops!) into the Alpine PXA-H701/RUX-C701 setup which has optical inputs and then ananlog outputs for each channel (it can do things like 2xStereo for rear speakers, or even DTS/Dolby is you can output it) then I take the analog outs to my amps (components on JL 300/4) and it seems to work pretty well.

    The way I did it is like:
    PC/Sound Card --(Optical)--> Alpine DSP --(RCA)--> Amps
    I opted to use the DSP at all because i wanted some 'hard' volume control and as far as car-based stuff goes that alpine setup is pretty slick, it really does some cool stuff (but it is pretty damn expensive too!)

    I guess you can really do it any way you want, you listed a few ways. See what kind of budget you are on and then you can probably start figuring out the road to take.

    As far as your question about the amp with optical input it will for sure support PCM (2-channel audio, prtty standard), and MAYBE support DTS/Dolby (Multi channel), you will need to check specs!

    Also remember that an amp with digital inputs just has a DAC inside of it and STILL does the AMP stage in analog just like any other amp.
    -James
    Car: 2004 GTI VR6 24v Turbo 2.8L, GT35R, 630cc, Unitronic, Bosch 044, etc, etc..
    Main PC:i7 920@4Ghz, 6GB DDR3, MSI X-58 Pro-E, Win 7 x64 RTM, Scythe Mugen2, 128GB G.Skill Falcon, 2x ATI4850 512MB Crossfire, Auzentech X-Fi Forte, Grado Labs SR-80

  3. #3
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    anyone else can help me out?

    can a car PC be made to output a PCM wav sound thru usb so i can connect it to the headunit's usb?

  4. #4
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    man this is killing me .

    the fact that i am good at both car audio and pcs.

    im a car audio installer and i have built many pcs.

    yet i cant figure this thing out for some reason.


    is there still no options for people that want digital signal all the way to the amplifier?

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    A year and a half, and you still haven't made any decisions?

    the cheapest way to get great sound would be?
    You have to compromise somewhere.

    can a car PC be made to output a PCM wav sound thru usb so i can connect it to the headunit's usb?
    No. The USB port in a headunit are meant to read media files only, not accept audio signals.

    is there still no options for people that want digital signal all the way to the amplifier?
    There are amps w/ built-in DSPs, but you're still running the signal through RCAs.
    This JBL unit is one example.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    The only amp I've seen with a digital input is the Alpine MRA-F350. If you want digital all the way to the amp, then get a soundcard that has a toslink output and send it directly to the Alpine.

  7. #7
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    so the alpine amps use standard toslink optical connection not something specific for alpine units?

    i had a chance of getting one for super cheap but wasnt sure if it would work.


    well theres another reason i didnt do anything for a year. i was hoping that a FLAC capable headunit would be available by now. but it seems like it would never be available.



    right now i am considering the PC in my del sol.

    i have a kac-x4r digital amp with onboard crossover,eq, and time alignment.
    with a 2009 crv OEM radio.

    i was thinking of having the PC separate and running through aux input but thats kinda ghetto.

    maybe an EQ in dash so that i have a volume control and then fron EQ RCA to the amp since there isnt many options i guess im gonna have to settle for that.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the F350 manual.

    http://a248.e.akamai.net/pix.crutchf...500MRAF350.PDF

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate RAWPWR's Avatar
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    Did ya' try this thread link?-----------> http://www.mp3car.com/car-audio-faq/...inputs-12.html

    I use (Made in USA) old school Hifonics Amps the GenX line with Zed brand internal componets(5,000 watts RMS NOT PEAK!) all into a 4ohm load. I don't know if a 5.1 is what your looking for and I don't know if these newer ones are any good compared to Zed stuff. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    so it seems theres not that many available
    alpine, and those few listed in the other thread.
    if we could only have an amp witn USB input.
    i think its time to retire the RCA cables.
    all these companies need to get up to speed and stop calling their very limited units "digital media players"
    because the only digital media they play is 3 audio formats and ipod...
    try selling a portable media player like that, or even a home media server that only supports 3 formats.

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